Set in an old, red church in lovely downtown Mendocino just blocks from the sea, Corners of the Mouth food co-op is a treasure. Founded in 1975, this is one of the few-and-far-between classic co-ops that are increasingly hard to find, but will change you for the better once you have the opportunity to browse its cozy nooks and enjoy a wholesome, delicious snack outside in the sun.

The open interior lends a gaze out the stained glass windows, and narrow isles are packed with all the staples and an abundance of locally-produced specialties and bursting-with-flavor local produce. We recommend any of the sauces from the Larrupin Cafe up north in Trinidad, for spreading on a sandwich or enhancing your bbq. And if you’re gluten-free, by all means stock up on some of their GF macaroons and brownies, as they’re some of the very best we’ve EVER tasted.

One would be remiss not to spend at least a couple days in this foggy, clapboard-lined town simply dawdling and exploring its rugged coast. Within walking distance from the downtown inns and shops lies a sandy trail atop the seaside bluffs, perfect for a contemplative afternoon stroll, an after-dinner walk to digest and converse, or simply to gaze at the stars as the waves lull you to unwind for the day. Enjoy a cup of sustainable, family-owned Thanksgiving Coffee at the Mendocino Bakery, and DO NOT leave this area without a trip to the stunning Stanford Inn by the Sea and it’s organic, vegetarian restaurant, the Ravens. The kitchen is supplied by the on-premise organic gardens, and they have a killer wine list full of the region’s best offerings. The owners also have an affinity for friendly kitties, and you will bump into them throughout your visit. Cozy up next to the roaring fire with a fantastic glass of wine and say hello.

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